Stella Odua’s Trial Must Not Be Delayed, Group Tells Tinubu

Today’s Anti-Corruption Network (TACN) has requested President Bola Tinubu’s intervention to stop an alleged plot to prevent Senator Stella Oduah’s arraignment and trial for the N7.9 billion alleged fraud that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has brought against her.

The group said that those responsible for the scheme are attempting to reach a plea agreement despite Senator Oduah, the primary accused, refusing to testify despite 13 court appearances, in a statement signed by its director of program, Engr Olufemi Austin.

The organization claimed it was an insult to President Tinubu and the APC administration’s pledged anti-corruption stance.

The group’s position is in response to the N7.9 billion accusation made against former minister and senator Oduah.

The statement partly reads, “Sir, kindly note that the planned arraignment of a former Minister of Aviation, Senator Stella Oduah on the N7.9bn money laundering charges on 5th June, 6th June,7th June, 8th June and 9th June 2023 may be stalled for the thirteenth (13th) consecutive times before Justice Ekwo Ekwo of the Federal High Court Abuja.”

“Excellency sir, this well-rehearsed orchestrated script and drama that have been played for the past 3 years in the Federal High Court Abuja, before Justice Ekwo is a monumental disgrace and slap to the anti-corruption crusade of APC-led federal government.

“Use your good office to liase with Chief Justice of Nigeria, Chief Judge of Federal High Court Abuja and other persons you may deem necessary to unravel the “mystery” and “reasons” that made possible that Justice Ekwo never allowed Senator Stella Oduah to be arraigned,2 years and 6 months after EFCC filed this case.

“Sir, kindly direct the EFCC Chairman to advise EFCC Prosecutors to urgently apply to Chief Judge of Federal High Court Abuja for reassignment of this case to any other Judge.”

Recall a Federal High Court, Abuja, has shifted the trial of former Aviation Minister, Sen. Stella Oduah, and others on alleged fraud to June 5, 2023, for arraignment.